Leroy Gordon Cooper Jr. was the youngest of the seven original astronauts in Project Mercury. He piloted the longest and last Mercury spaceflight, Mercury-Atlas 9. He was the first American to spend an entire day in space, and the first to sleep in space. He died of lung cancer on September 14, 2013.
About Gordon Cooper in brief
Leroy Gordon Cooper Jr. was the youngest of the seven original astronauts in Project Mercury. He piloted the longest and last Mercury spaceflight, Mercury-Atlas 9. He was the first American to spend an entire day in space, and the first to sleep in space. He set a new space endurance record by traveling 3,312,993 miles in 190 hours and 56 minutes. After serving as backup commander of the Apollo 10 mission, he was superseded by Alan Shepard, and retired from NASA and the Air Force with the rank of colonel in 1971. Cooper was the only Mercury astronaut to have a private pilot license. He died of a heart attack on September 11, 2011. He is survived by his wife, Trudy Olson Cooper, and two daughters, J. J. Cooper and J. T. Cooper, who were active in the Boy Scouts of America. Cooper died of lung cancer on September 14, 2013. He leaves behind a wife and three daughters. He also leaves a son, Leroy Cooper Sr., who served in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II, and a daughter, T.J. Cooper. Cooper served as a test pilot in the United States Air Force, and was selected as an astronaut in 1959. He served as Command Pilot of Gemini 5 in 1965, and became the first astronaut to make a second orbital flight. He retired from the USAF in 1957, and later became an aerospace engineer. Cooper is buried in Honolulu, Hawaii, where he and his wife first met in 1947.
He had two daughters with his first wife, who was active in flying, and would later become the only wife of a Mercury astronaut. Cooper also had a son with his second wife, Terence Cooper, whom he also served with in the Marine Corps, and who died in 2010. Cooper had a daughter with his third wife, Jennifer Cooper, a flight instructor and flight instructor, who died of cancer in 2012. Cooper has a son and daughter-in-law, both of whom are still active members of the Boy Scout Troops. He has two grandchildren. He never had any children of his own, but had two step-grandchildren. He lived in Hawaii with his wife and two children, and died in 2013. Cooper’s daughter, Jodi Cooper, is now a well-known author and author of a book about her father’s life, “The Man Who Lived in Space: A Memoirs of a Man in Space”. Cooper’s son, L.J., is also a well known author and has written several books about his father, including one about his time as a Marine Corps officer. The Cooper family moved to Murray, Kentucky, when his father was called back into service, and he graduated from Murray High School in June 1945. He joined the Oklahoma National Guard, flying a Curtiss JN-4 biplane, despite never having formal military pilot training. His father served on the presidential yacht USS Mayflower in World War I.